A New York Times story from late Saturday evening by editor Elizabeth Williamson still contains a false assertion that Bernie Sanders, who lost handily to Hillary Clinton in South Carolina’s Democratic primary, “defeated Mrs. Clinton among white Democrats in South Carolina.”
However, according to the Times itself, exit polling that same day found that Hillary actually won the white vote by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent. Indeed, a separate Times story that was also published on Feb. 27 reported that white voters “narrowly favored” Hillary.
Williamson’s reporting on primary voter data became an issue a week earlier when she asserted in a story that appeared on the paper’s front page that Bernie Sanders “won among Latino voters” in Nevada’s Feb. 20 Democratic caucus, a claim that was widely disputed. The error was significant because the perception of Bernie winning the Latino vote in Nevada would have given his campaign a boost, and potentially altered voter behavior.
Two days later Williamson tweeted a story by the Times‘ Nate Cohn in which he said: “I’d err on the side of a Clinton win among Hispanic voters.” She also updated her Feb. 20 story saying there’s a merely a “debate” about whether Bernie won the Latino vote without issuing an outright correction:
Williamson — who regularly attacks Hillary on Twitter — often says Hillary should release the transcripts of speeches she made as a private citizen, including to big Wall Street banks, implying, without evidence, that they’d reveal some kind of nefarious quid pro quo. Aside from the double standard being applied in this case, in fact, the evidence indicates that the opposite is true.
It looks like Maureen Dowd has company.
UPDATE: After BNR pointed out the error, the NYT issued the following update:
Though early exit polls showed Bernie Sanders winning among white voters in South Carolina, polls now show Hillary Clinton winning among whites.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert